When You Don’t See Eye To Eye With Someone

It’s a timeless question that arises in many marriages: what do we do when we find ourselves at odds with our partners? Whether it’s a disagreement about how to handle our child’s meltdowns, differences in financial habits, or even conflicting opinions on matters as relevant as hand-washing or wearing masks, these situations can feel overwhelming. So, what’s the solution?

Allow me to save you a trip to therapy and share a relationship secret: finding common ground becomes nearly impossible when we are emotionally disconnected. The key is to prioritize connection before attempting to resolve the difference of opinion. Let me paint a picture for you:

During one of those endless quarantine days, my two daughters woke up to a gloomy, rainy morning. My five-year-old was in a cranky mood from the moment she woke up, while my eight-year-old was disappointed because the neighborhood pool, our only solace during these times, was closed. In an attempt to keep them occupied, I let them start the day with a movie. Little did I know that choosing a movie would become a battleground. They argued for what felt like an eternity between “Wreck it Ralph” and “Frozen II,” unable to see eye-to-eye. Eventually, they decided not to watch anything rather than compromising on each other’s preference. They went their separate ways and played alone in their rooms.

But something fascinating happened. As the morning carried on, they slowly emerged from their rooms and spent the next couple of hours playing together harmoniously. They laughed, giggled, and enjoyed each other’s company without any need for intervention. After lunch, I offered them another chance to watch a movie as a reward for their excellent behavior. It was the moment of truth, and I watched from a distance, curious to see what would unfold.

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After spending two blissful hours together, basking in sisterly love, they resolved their difference of opinion within a minute. They agreed to watch “Wreck it Ralph” (the younger one’s preference) and then engage in a nail salon role-play (the older one’s preference).

In that moment, they reaffirmed what I already knew about relationships. When you don’t feel securely connected, a difference of opinion carries significant weight. However, when you and your partner feel close and emotionally connected, you become more tolerant of each other’s differences and find it easier to reach a compromise.

In a fragile relationship, a difference in sexual preferences can cause a major rupture. In a connected relationship, it’s often just a source of mild frustration. In a fragile relationship, differences in spending habits can make both partners question their compatibility. In a connected relationship, it’s merely a periodic annoyance.

Disagreements have the potential to create ruptures, causing us to question the foundation of our relationship and our compatibility. However, in strong and secure relationships, disagreements are just that: differences of opinion between two people who love and value each other. Nothing more, nothing less.

So, if you find yourself overwhelmed by the numerous disagreements within your marriage, I encourage you to start by focusing on connection. Once you’ve reestablished that connection, you’ll find that resolving your differences becomes a lot easier. For more guidance on building connection, you can visit 5 WS to explore our past articles.

Remember, prioritizing connection is the first step toward finding common ground and living harmoniously with your partner.

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